Justin Rose won the 2013 U.S. Open thanks to an impressive combination of excellent ball-striking and putting. The latter has long been a source of contention for the South African, who has always had the talent from tee to green but has long struggled with the flat stick.
He won the tournament by two strokes, out-putting the grandmaster himself (Phil Mickelson) by nine strokes on the greens at Merion—120 putts to 129.
In the summer of 2012, Rose decided to refine his game and sought out David Orr for his help, according to James Corrigan of The Telegraph. He had been striking the ball phenomenally, but once on the green Rose's game went to pot:
There was an obvious frustration in Justin in playing tee-to-green better than anyone else but not getting the results. We had to figure what his tendencies were and build a plan...His problem used to be missing to the right and left-to-righters were particularly tough for him. But then, at the Tour Championship he had that 15-footer, downhill, left to right on the 18th for something like $850,000 [£530,000] — and he holed it.
Rose also famously conquered Mickelson at the 2012 Ryder Cup, holing out putts from 40 and 15 feet in the final two holes to win a critical point for the Europeans.
Since getting cut in The Open Championship last year, Rose's game has flourished.
He's finished in the top 10 eight times—including a third-place finish at the 2012 PGA Championship, a second-place finish at the 2012 Tour Championship, a second-place finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and his victory at this year's U.S. Open.
The scary part for the rest of the world's best golfers is that the pendulum is still on its way up for Rose.
He still struggles with his putter at times, as his No. 126 ranking in total putting illustrates. Some weeks he reverts back to old form and struggles on the greens, but as his recent record shows, Rose is becoming more and more consistent.
At the age of 33, he's four years younger than Tiger Woods.
Combined with his excellent ball-striking abilities (No. 1 in total driving and No. 3 in ball-striking), Rose is in excellent position to establish himself as a major force on the PGA Tour for a good, long while.
You can be sure Rose will be a force to be reckoned with in major championships, and there's an excellent chance he'll win a few more before his career is finished.
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